Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tetris Tuesday #3!

Block #3 is done. And because I have the patience of a 2-year-old, I sewed my first column together! All before spin class again, and oddly enough, during another thunderstorm.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Random thoughts on a Monday morning

1. I'm still pretty excited about having finished 4th overall for females. Especially since I was just a few minutes behind the top female finisher... it has me thinking, "If I hadn't hit my head so hard on that first obstacle, I wonder how much better I could have done?"
 2. I decided to play with some of my shop hop purchases. First up, the itty bitty twister template. I have the Lil twister, and in talking to one shop owner about those irritating waste squares, she showed me the itty bitty template. I'm not always one to attempt teeny tiny pieces, but it looked so cool, and the thought that I could twist away the waste from my current template.... that's why I bit. Plus, it takes 2.5" squares, and I have way too many 2.5" strips laying around unused. So I started with a 5 x 5 grid of brights, and added that border.
 Then, after cutting and resewing, it went from 14" to 6"! (Though I noticed, as with my other twister template, I could use a smaller-than-recommended border and be fine.... so it would be like shrinking from 13" to 6")
I added a 1.5" border- just grabbed the first piece laying around that would go all the way around my block.
Then quilter it with rainbow thread and bound it while watching the Olympics.

3. Speaking of Olympics, often I find myself just sitting and being lazy while I watch others excel in sport. Often with a bowl of not-so-healthy food, like caramel corn.

So, this year, I've been taking at least a few minutes during each even to do an exercise inspired by whichever sport is on. For example, during swimming, I stand and move my arms in whatever stroke they're doing. As a non-swimmer, just "swimming" through air while they compete leaves my arms tired. During gymnastics, I did a few headstands, and played with my hula hoop (and laughed so hard at how it freaks the dogs out).

4. I didn't do a long run this weekend. Which is really bad in terms of marathon training. But that's what happens when life gets in the way. I won't die. It probably won't affect my marathon time much, anyway, since I'm not exactly a speed demon, nor am I even expecting to run the whole thing (this time). But, I feel like I should add a few extra miles during my 2 shorter runs this week- like a 6 and 7 miler, instead of 2 and 6. Mentally, that will make me feel like I'm still doing enough work I guess.

What's your favorite Olympic sport? (Please don't tell me you hate them all)
Any big plans coming up?

My brother will be coming Friday to race in an autocross regional. I'm pretty excited. And we're grilling out with friends tonight (as long as the rain holds!).

Saturday, July 28, 2012

4th place female!

Yup, 4th overall female finisher. Pretty happy about that. The medals are pretty cool, too- made from logs from the course.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Shop hop goodies!

I got up early to make it down to the convention center for the quilt shop hop- 30 quilt shops in one place! I got a free book for being the first customer at one booth, and won a stack of 8" squares at the game booth. The Itty bitty twister template and the Leaves Galore ruler were my tool splurges as a reward for tailoring Tim's pants, and I found some Ghastlies and other fat quarters. What a great morning!
Zumba went well this afternoon, and now I've settled in to watch the Olympics and rest for tomorrow's mud run and long run afterwards.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

My evening

Went to see Ted with a friend today- pretty funny. Earlier, I ran 3.1 miles before an hour of spinning. And now, I am ready to relax and watch Wipeout, and knit- starting glove in July means they *might* get done before its cold- I'm an even slower knitter than I am a runner!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Silly eyeballs (I feel old)

So, I've been trying to make progress on the super secret project, but I'm still plugging along sewing too much black. I feel old because my eyes simply cannot stand looking at the black pieces. Poor, tired eyes, giving up at 27 (wonder if the congenital cataracts have anything to do with that?) On the bright side, this gave me a perfect excuse to try out some of the Blogger's Block of the Month blocks thanks to Jackie at Canton Village Quilt Works.

You may notice from the photo that my blocks are not uniform size- well, that's because in order to start something new, my rule has been that it has to use precut pieces. So, rather than cut fiddly odd sizes like 3 5/8 or 1 3/4, I'm modifying each block to fit what I have. Which means I'll have some 8" blocks and some 9" blocks (finished size). I plan on stretching my creativity to even up the eventual rows, and may even be able to use some of my orphans/parts department blocks and bits.

Basically, the end goal of this quilt (besides giving my eyes a colorful break in between the aggravating black) will be to have a hodgepodge of STUFF. It could be awesome. Or ugly. But it will be warm, and it will get used, slept under, coughed on, sneezed on, and most of all, LOVED.

Tomorrow is another spin class, a short run, then a movie with a friend.

What are you doing for fun or fitness?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tetris Tuesday!

 Block 2 from Melissa's Tetris quilt-a-long is done, even after having to stop for an hour halfway through due to a rip-snortin' storm.
The colors look weird since it's still raining and dark.
We're talking tons of lightning, 50-70 mph wind gusts, and torrential rain. I feel safer when I'm not surrounded by electrics when the lights are flickering from power surges. But, #2 is still done before spin class!

I love the way they look together. I'm not necessarily following the color choices of the pieces we're given, since one of the promises I made for myself was that i'd be using up some of the scraps I already have cut.

Anyhow, I'm off. Time for spinning fun!

Monday, July 23, 2012


Sorry, no pictures today.

Had an amazing Zumba class today. If I can get one more on Friday, that means I should have enough $ in my monthly paycheck to cover an eye dr appointment, and maybe even some el-cheapo glasses.

(My husband would pay for it, but I like to feel like I'm taking care of myself. Plus, he has to buy textbooks, which are always more expensive than expected)

It's more important to at least get the appointment, though. I can order glasses/new contacts later, but my gut is telling me the sooner I get to the eye dr, the better. I've had black floaters for, well. nearly a month now. and I can tell my vision has worsened since the last appt (I can no longer easily read the Wheel of Fortune board without contacts in! GRR!). The floaters are really bugging me. They're distracting.
Man, my eyes make me feel old. I can no longer stand to sew black fabrics together for more than a few minutes at a time, either. Found that out the hard way with a super secret project.

So, hopefully, by the first weekend in August I'll have a new RX for glasses, and a non-worrisome answer about the floaters and how to get rid of them. :D

I'm excited about tomorrow, too- next tetris block, and spin class. Wheeeee!

Friday, July 20, 2012

More mud? Yes, please!

We signed up for another mud run- a small, local event. Which means I needed something fur to wear. And, since I have only a week and a budget of zero, to the sewing cave we go!!!
I found some fun tulle-ish stuff, and came up with this. Added the socks I didn't wear on the 4th because it was too hot. And I'll probably wear my red star Bondi Band. And there you have it, I'll be a patriotic princess for this mud run.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

What I've been up to today

I love my husband for so many reasons. One of the minor ones would be because he considers quilts acceptable wall art.

I finally put the last border on Roll, Roll, Cotton Boll, too ( Bonnie Hunter's 2010 mystery- yeah, it took forever). It's actually bigger than the current quilt we have on our bed, which has me thinking. If I save up to have it finished by a longarm quilter, perhaps we will use it rather than save it for the guest bedroom (which still doesn't have a bed).

I feel quite accomplished today.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Not another one! :)

Darn you, Melissa, and I mean that in the nicest way possible!

I have no will-power when it comes to starting new projects. I'm justifying this start with having finished that baby quilt yesterday, and with the possibility that this *could* become a gift for my Tetris-loving mother. And, I'm using squares I've had cut for a long time, the same squares I've been using with my split 16-patches.

And it just happens that I have time to kill on Tuesday mornings before spinning. I hate waiting that long to shower (Ugh, gross, I don't shower until after 1 PM on Tuesdays and Thursdays!), and the best way to distract myself from feeling like a dirty little kid is to stay busy.

So there you have it. I've started another project. :D

Maybe I'll even get my Orca Bay quilted soon to really alleviate the "quilt guilt!"

But for now, I'm headed to the gym. I need a few miles on the treadmill before I hit the spin class to try to loosen up my legs- still pretty sore from Sunday! Best feeling ever, though. Makes me hear Dolvett from the biggest loser every time a muscle protests- HARD WORK! DEDICATION!!!

Monday, July 16, 2012

A finish

I put off quilting this because I thought I'd have to piece the backing. But I didn't! And now it's done, with about 2 weeks to spare before my husband's friend (who he calls Sasquatch) becomes a dad.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Why I run

I ran 16 miles today, 13 of which felt great (the last 3, not so much). The golf course I worked at (up until 3 weeks ago) is about 3 miles from my house, and I was serious when I told them I'd "run by" every once in a while to keep in touch.
 I popped in, said hi to Bucko and got permission to run the course. I'm not a golfer, but boy, the course is beautiful.
 The clouds kept looking like rain- but no such luck for them; the course desperately needs rain. We got about an inch at our house over an hour last night, but they didn't get a drop on the course. Funny how weather can be like that.
 It was just starting to clear off as I finished the 6 miles of the cart path, which meant I had 9 miles done. I headed home, but had to stop and say high to this guy on the bridge (I love bugs...except spiders. Daddy long legs are ok, but the rest can stay away).
 It's an old railroad bridge- the tracks have been converted to a running/walking/biking path. It's one of the reasons we decided to buy our house. Having a trail this close is such a blessing.
I had planned on running down the trail, but the nasty deer flies decided I was a tasty treat, so I ran home, which put me at 13 miles. I needed 3 more to reach my minimum (today's goal was 16-18 miles, depending on what my body had to give. I'm trying to maintain that happy balance of doing to work without hurting myself).

Those 3 miles on the treadmill.... well, they hurt. There's no other way to put it. They were slow, painful, and so boring after how pretty the previous 13 had been. But I got them done, which is what matters.

Now, after I've spent the day recovering (knitting a little, watching American Pickers on NetFlix, eating only 2 slice of pizza when my Runger wanted 4), I sit here and know why I run. Not just for the beauty of nature, not just for the clarity of mind I get after a good sweaty double digit run, but because every time I stand or sit back down, I feel the strength in my legs. These legs have gone from embarrassing thunder thighs in high school (at least that's how I felt about them) to powerful tools. It doesn't matter that I still have cellulite, because under that cellulite is the strength to cover miles and miles and miles. And that strength is not just physical, it's mental. Every run makes me more confident. Makes me believe in myself a little more. Makes me strong enough to handle anything that life throws my way.

I'm running the Freedom half marathon with my best friend from high school this November- my husband signed me up as my anniversary present (it's the only thing I wanted!). The trip will be my birthday present (and the timing is convenient for him, too, so he'll have one less distraction during his classes this fall. I know some of you think I'm a nutter for all this running- I've got my first full marathon in September, a Mudder and either a 1/2 marathon or a 5k for Halloween in October, and then another 1/2 in November, plus the Turkey stampede 10k, and the Huff 10 miler in December- but this is my therapy. Running and quilting both are. They soothe my soul.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Finally, a flimsy

Just needs quilting. :)

Stocking stuffer!

I come from a family of allergy sufferers. Pocket packs of tissue are an acceptable gift at Christmas- that's how bad our allergies are! So when I saw the latest issue of Quilts and More, I had to make these!

They were very easy - mostly folding and 3 seams. I need to make about 19 more by Christmas.
( ps- I am not affiliated with them, nor have I been compensated in anyway- I just think these are perfect stocking stuffers for my sneezy family)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

My version of Orca Bay

So, Bonnie Hunter is an amazing quilter who does a yearly mystery quilt. I still haven't finished the first one ( which is queen sized, and only needs the border but how the heck will I quilt it?). Last year, I decided to do a smaller version... And it still took me until now to get it mostly done! She calls this pattern Orca Bay. It just needs borders. Dang you, borders.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


 Zumba has been going very well- see the nice big room we have to use? Each class has been better than the one before. I had some very good feedback after the last class on Monday. I know I shouldn't need to be praised, but it sure feels a lot better than being torn apart!

Tim and I were able to get 6 miles in today. July is shaping up to be my highest mileage month yet, if this motivation keeps up (which it better, since the MARATHON is 65 days away!).

And then there are the split 16 patch blocks...
They seem to be multiplying. There are 15 now, with #16 ready to be sewn, which will probably lead to 17, 18, 25, you know how it goes. I really like these blocks. So many different fabrics in each block (24!), and it's the kind of pattern that nearly makes my eyes crazy, but not quite. Perfect blend of chaos and control. If the ambition sticks, I might make this 64" square, which would take 64 blocks, which just seems perfect.

I need to make my next couple of race blocks... one for the Mudder, one for the Ta Ta Trot, and one for the 4th of July 5k. Might work on those tomorrow. Might.

What about you? How's your week now that it's halfway through? How about your year?

That's right, we're halfway through the year of AWESOME. It's not too late to set a goal AND reach it!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

10, 5, 2.... 17!

I ran 10 miles before the thunderstorm this morning, then 5 more afterward. Which meant I was 1 short of my goal, but I was running on empty and needed lunch before I turned into the hulk. But, we just took both dogs for a 2 mile walk, which means my legs carried me for 17 miles total today!
Last night, I finally made a Union Jack... One I've been meaning to make for a year! But hey, finally done. Now how to border and finish it?
Someone tried to steal all my sodium when I was stretching between runs today, too.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Don't take life too seriously.

If you don't get the emails from Sew Can She, you should. They inspired Matt Lauer's new business casual wear.
Enjoy your Sunday- I'm going to attempt my longest training run ever (16 miles).

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Heat advisory

So I'm staying inside. Cleaned a bit this morning, now I'm playing with scraps, and going to a movie with a friend later, all the while hydrating so I can get a quick run in tomorrow morning before temperatures skyrocket again tomorrow. Aren't these blocks getting more fun as they multiply?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy anniversary!

3 years! Crazy how time flies when you're having fun. Speaking of fun, we ran a 5k to kick off our day.
I love my husband so much. And for the rest of you, happy 4th of July!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

And then there were 3

Look at all that movement! Such a simple block, with so much impact.

Monday, July 2, 2012

1 done

Well, I survived, and so did most of the class. I had 9 happy people, only 1 who complained. She was abrupt enough that I was glad I had saved my run until afterward.

I wish people would remember that sometimes, these things are a learning experience for the students AND the teacher. I now know that one person some people want things broken down before class starts, since they're cranky perfectionists uncomfortable without a step-by-step breakdown of what we're doing.

I'm ok with this. I'm going to thicken my skin a little more, and start Friday's class with steps. No music, just steps.  It means we will probably only get through 1/3 the songs, but I'm trying to keep people happy.

And if "people" still aren't happy after I break it down further, then maybe they'll realize my class isn't for them....

Keeping calm

HSTs and 2.5" squares. I've got a lot more 2.5" strips I could chop up and finally use in this project!
The thing about procrastinating is that sometimes, I need it. Sometimes, I'll put off what I need to do and go for a run, simply because running clears my head so well and leaves me feeling fresh, calm, and with all the anxiety gone as if it had left through each gallon drop of sweat.

But on days like yesterday and today, where running until exhaustion would be counter-productive, sewing fits. Stitching those triangles yesterday helped me stay calm, and inevitably helped me sleep well. Today, in between last-minute practice, I've pair the HST's with some scrap squares and made split 16 patches.

And, I feel remarkably calm. Perhaps it's because I feel prepared, perhaps it's because it's essentially just dancing and I know I can wing it if necessary, or perhaps it's because I know (and LOVE) the core value of Zumba is to have fun. The exercise is almost the afterthought. So, as long as my class has fun today, I'll have done my job. Burning 400 (or many more calories just happens along the way.

Regardless, taking sewing breaks is helping me stay calm, focused, and at ease. Which is something I never could have said 7 years ago. And, as a by-product, I'll have another quilt eventually. Which, we all know, you can never have too many works in progress quilts!

Sunday, July 1, 2012


Procrastination, that is. Tomorrow, I teach my first Zumba class, so I've been reviewing my choreography... And procrastinating. I've done one run-through, and now I'm fighting anxiety with some mindless sewing. Truly mindless, since I have no clue what I'll do with these half-square triangles. I'm going to press them open, then I promised myself I'd run through my songs again.